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Slipknot is an American nu metal band from Des Moines, Iowa. Formed in 1995, the group was founded by percussionist Shawn Crahan and bassist Paul Gray. After several lineup changes in their early days, the band consisted of nine members for the greater part of their tenure: Sid Wilson, Paul Gray, Joey Jordison, Chris Fehn, Jim Root, Craig Jones, Shawn Crahan, Mick Thomson, and Corey Taylor. However, the death of Paul Gray on May 24, 2010, left the band with only eight remaining members. Former guitarist Donnie Steele was the band's touring bassist in 2011.
The band is known for its attention-grabbing image; the members wear matching uniforms, have unique masks respectively and have aliases which are simply numbers. The original idea of wearing masks while performing is often attributed to a clown mask that percussionist Crahan would bring to rehearsals when the band first started. The concept developed, and by late 1997, the band decided that every member of the band would wear unique masks and matching jumpsuits. Vocalist Taylor had this to say when questioned about the masks in 2002: "it's our way of becoming more intimate with the music. It's a way for us to become unconscious of who we are and what we do outside of music. It's a way for us to kind of crawl inside it and be able to use it." The concept behind wearing matching jumpsuits has been described as a response to commercialism in the music business and led to the idea of assigning the band members numerical aliases. "Originally, we were just going to wear the jumpsuits we figured we might as well take that further and number ourselves. We were basically saying, 'Hey, we're a product!'" explained Taylor. Their image has been the subject of much criticism, generally thought of as a gimmick to try sell more albums. The band strongly objects to these claims, proclaiming that the masks are used to draw the attention away from themselves as individuals and put it on the music. Several band members have noted that wearing the masks also helps keep their personal lives private. During an interview in 2005, percussionist Fehn went as far as saying it was a "blessing" that they do not get recognized.
Slipknot has been the subject of many controversies throughout their career, both for their image and their music. The lyrical content of some of Slipknot's songs has been linked to several violent and criminal incidents. One such case from 2003 involved a pair of young killers who blamed the lyrics from the song "Disasterpiece" for their vicious crime. Another from 2006 involved the lyrics from the song "Surfacing" being found at the site of a grave robbing. Slipknot deny any responsibility in cases like this and to date have not been proven to be liable in any cases of this nature. In 2008, vocalist Taylor commented on a stabbing in South Africa that Slipknot were linked to, saying: "obviously, I'm disturbed by the fact that people were hurt and someone died, as far as my responsibility for that goes, it stops there, because I know our message is actually very positive." Furthering his point by saying: "there are always going to be mental disorders and people who cause violence for no other reason than the fact that they're fucked up and lost."Wide ThumbClearartFanartBanner User Comments